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Not So Great After All

- February 16, 2016

Despite Her Attacks On Sanders' Disloyalty To Obama, Clinton Refuses To Call Him A "Great" President

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Last night, Clinton twice declined to say whether she thinks President Obama is a "great" president.
  • With the current economic landscape of declining incomes, poor wage growth, more Americans in poverty and a disappearing middle-class, no one can call the economy "great."
  • Years of empty rhetoric and an exploding national debt certainly isn't worthy of being declared "great."
  • The failures of Obamacare, with soaring premiums and accelerating out-of-pocket healthcare expenses are far from "great."
  • Obama's not-so-great foreign policy agenda has spanned across the world.
  • Despite a record of failure and even a refusal to declare his presidency "great," Clinton has awarded the Obama administration an "A" grade.

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During An Interview Last Night With Ralston Live, Clinton Declined Twice To Say Whether She Thinks Obama Is A "Great" President. RALSTON: "You think he'll be remembered as a great president, Secretary Clinton?" CLINTON: "I think, what he inherited was one of the worst hands ever dealt to any president coming into office and it was tragic, it was just such a heart-breaking situation John. We went from my husband's economic successes, a balance budget and a surplus, people were working, incomes were rising. Back come the republicans with a vengeance, because I was there fighting against them every step of the way. We stopped some bad things, like their crazy idea to privatize social security, which I was one of the leaders in stopping. We couldn't stop big tax cuts for the wealthy, waging two wars without paying a penny for either one of them, taking their eyes off the financial markets and the mortgage markets. So, in comes this new, young, dynamic President and he is handed the loss of 800,000 jobs a month, 5 million jobs, or 5 million houses lost, many of them right here in Nevada as you know so well. We ended up losing 9 million jobs. So, I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for inheriting a really hard hand and playing it very well." RALSTON: "So, great, is that a right adjective or not?" CLINTON: "Well, history will decide, but I think he has some great accomplishments to his name." (PBS's Ralston Live, 2/16/16)

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UNDER THE NOT-SO-GREAT CLINTON-OBAMA ECONOMY, INCOMES FELL, WAGE GROWTH HAS STAGNATED, MORE AMERICANS ARE IN POVERTY AND THE MIDDLE-CLASS IS DISAPPEARING

American's Certainly Don't Think The Clinton-Obama Economy Is Great

49 Percent Of Americans Disapprove Of The Way Obama Is Handling The U.S. Economy, Compared To Just 39 Percent Who Approve. (The Economist/YouGov, 2000 R, 2.9% MoE, 1/15-19/16)

According To Gallup, U.S. Economic Confidence Rating Stands At -11. ("Gallup Daily: U.S. Economic Confidence Index," Gallup, Accessed 1/29/16)

57 Percent Of Americans Feel That "Things In The U.S. Today Are Going Badly." "Overall, 57% say things in the country today are going badly, while 42% say they're going well. That's a downturn compared to a poll conducted just after Thanksgiving, when 49% said things were going well compared to 50% who said they were going badly." (Jennifer Agiesta, "CNN/ORC Poll: 57 Pessimistic About U.S. Future, Highest In 2 Years," CNN, 1/27/16)

  • American Pessimism Is Currently At Its Highest Rating In More Than Two Years. "Nearly 6-in-10 Americans say things are going badly in the United States, the largest share to say so in more than two years, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll." (Jennifer Agiesta, "CNN/ORC Poll: 57 Pessimistic About U.S. Future, Highest In 2 Years," CNN, 1/27/16)

"Substantially Less Money" Is The Not-So-Great Reality Under The Clinton-Obama Economy

Middle-Income American Families "Make Substantially Less Money" In Inflation Adjusted Terms Than Years Ago And "There Is No Evidence That Is Reversing." "A middle-income American family, in other words, makes substantially less money in inflation-adjusted terms than it did 15 years ago. And there is no evidence that is reversing." (Neil Irwin, "Why Americans Still Think The Economy Is Terrible," The New York Times, 9/16/15)

During The Obama Administration, Median Household Income Has Fallen $1,656, From $55,313 In 2008 To $53,657 In 2014. (Census, Accessed 9/16/15)

  • The Median Household Income In The U.S. Fell $805, Or 1.5 Percent, From $54,462 In 2013 To $53,657 In 2014. (Census, Accessed 9/16/15)

An Increased Number Of Americans Living In Poverty Certainly Isn't Great

About 46.7 Million Americans Were Living In Poverty Last Year. "Around 14.8% of Americans, or 46.7 million individuals, were living in poverty last year, unchanged from 2013." (Nick Timiraos, "U.S. Income Edged Lower In 2014," The Wall Street Journal, 9/16/15)

The Poverty Rate Has Increased By 1.6 Percentage Points Under Obama, From 13.2 Percent In 2008 To 14.8 Percent In 2014. (Census, Accessed 9/16/15)

  • Poverty Rate Stayed At 14.8 Percent From 2013 To 2014. (Census, Accessed 9/16/15)

The Black Poverty Rate Increased By 1.5 Percentage Points Under Obama, From 24.7 In 2008 To 26.2 Percent In 2014. (Census, Accessed 9/16/15)

  • Black Poverty Increased By 1 Percentage Point, From 25.2 Percent In 2013 To 26.2 Percent In 2014. (Census, Accessed 9/16/15)

Lousy Wage Inflation Isn't Great

In A "Normal Economy" Wage Inflation Would Be Around 3.5 To 4 Percent, Versus The " Stuck At The Same 2 Percent It's Been The Whole Recovery. " "Wage inflation is stuck at the same 2 percent it's been the whole recovery, well below the 3.5 to 4 percent it would be in a normal economy-the implication being that this is not one." (Matt O' Brien, "Excited About An Upcoming Raise? Don't Be."The Washington Post, 8/4/15)

The Impact Of The Clinton-Obama Agenda Is A Disappearing Middle-Class

The U.S. Middle-Class "Has Shrunk To The Point Where It No Longer Constitutes The Majority Of The Adult Population." "The nation's middle class, long a pillar of the U.S. economy and foundation of the American dream, has shrunk to the point where it no longer constitutes the majority of the adult population, according to a new major study." (Don Lee, "Middle-Class Families, Pillar Of The American Dream, Are No Longer In The Majority, Study Finds," Los Angeles Times, 12/9/15)

A Gallup Survey Found That Only 51 Percent Of U.S. Adults Identify As Middle-Class, Down From 63 Percent Of Those Polled In 2008. "A Gallup survey this spring showed that just 51% of U.S. adults considered themselves middle or upper middle class, with 48% saying they are part of the lower or working class. As recently as 2008, 63% of those polled by Gallup said they were middle class." (Don Lee, "Middle-Class Families, Pillar Of The American Dream, Are No Longer In The Majority, Study Finds," Los Angeles Times, 12/9/15)

The "Slow Recovery" Of The Clinton-Obama Economy Has "Shaken" The Image That Americans Have Of Identifying As Middle-Class. "Most Americans have traditionally identified themselves as middle class, even those at the top and bottom, reflecting a kind of cultural heritage tied to the American dream of self-reliance. But the Great Recession and subsequent slow recovery have shaken that image." (Don Lee, "Middle-Class Families, Pillar Of The American Dream, Are No Longer In The Majority, Study Finds," Los Angeles Times, 12/9/15)

AN EXPLODING NATIONAL DEBT SOARING PAST $19 TRILLION IS NOT-SO-GREAT

Under Obama's Watch, The National Debt Recently Surpassed $19 Trillion. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 2/1/16)

  • When Obama Took Office, The National Debt Stood At $10.63 Trillion. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 2/1/16)
  • Since Obama Became President, The National Debt Has Increased By Over $8.3 Trillion. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 2/1/16)

Hard To Call Someone "Great" Who Littered The National Debt Discussion For Years With Empty Rhetoric

Obama Warned In His 2013 State Of The Union Address That The U.S.'s Debt Will Prevent Investment In Children And A Secure Retirement For Seniors. OBAMA: "Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms -- otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President In The State Of The Union Address , Washington, D.C., 2/12/13)

In His 2012 State Of The Union Address, Obama Called For A Tax And Spending Plan That Shows "We're Serious About Paying Down Our Debt." OBAMA: "Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else -- like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we're serious about paying down our debt, we can't do both … As I told the Speaker this summer, I'm prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long-term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security… But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President In State Of The Union Address , Washington, D.C., 1/24/12)

Obama In His 2011 State Of The Union Address: "The Final Critical Step In Winning The Future Is To Make Sure We Aren't Buried Under A Mountain Of Debt." (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President In State Of Union Address , Washington, D.C., 1/25/11)

SKYROCKETING PREMIUMS AND OUT-OF-POCKET HEALTHCARE COSTS ARE NOT-SO-GREAT

"ObamaCare Premiums Are Planned To Rise By 7.5% In 2016." (Arkady Bukh, "Obamacare Lawsuit: Old News Still Making News," The Huffington Post's "HuffPost Politics," 2/10/16)

Some States Will See Premiums Rise By As Much As 31%. "While the national average for premium increases is 7.5%, in some states, like Alaska, the jump could be as high as 31%. In Indiana, premiums are projected to decrease by over 12%." (Arkady Bukh, "Obamacare Lawsuit: Old News Still Making News," The Huffington Post's "HuffPost Politics," 2/10/16)

In Its Annual Report, The Kaiser Family Foundation Reported That The Average Annual Premium For Families In 2015 Was $17,545. ("2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey," Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/23/15)

  • "During The Same Period, Workers' Wages Increased 1.9% And Inflation Declined By 0.2%." ("2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey," Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/23/15)

Since Obama Was Elected In 2008, Annual Premiums For Families Increased $4,865, Or 38%. ("2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey," Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/23/15)

ObamaCare's High Deductibles Are Leaving Many ObamaCare Consumers Paying For Insurance That They Can't Afford To Use. "Obama administration officials, urging people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, have trumpeted the low premiums available on the law's new marketplaces. But for many consumers, the sticker shock is coming not on the front end, when they purchase the plans, but on the back end when they get sick: sky-high deductibles that are leaving some newly insured feeling nearly as vulnerable as they were before they had coverage." (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)

According To A Review By The New York Times, "In Many States, More Than Half The Plans Offered For Sale" On The ObamaCare Exchange "Have A Deductible Of $3,000 Or More." " In many states, more than half the plans offered for sale through HealthCare.gov, the federal online marketplace, have a deductible of $3,000 or more, a New York Times review has found. Those deductibles are causing concern among Democrats - and some Republican detractors of the health law, who once pushed high-deductible health plans in the belief that consumers would be more cost-conscious if they had more of a financial stake or skin in the game." (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)

OBAMA'S NOT-SO-GREAT FOREIGN POLICY LEADERSHIP (ENGINEERED BY CLINTON) HAS SPANNED ACROSS THE GLOBE

The Obama Administration Has Listed Russia As The Top National Security Threat

The New York Times Editorial: "It Is Undeniable That Russia Has Become Openly Aggressive" And There Are New "Questions About Whether Russia Might Try To Extend Its Reach To The Baltic States." "It is undeniable that Russia has become openly aggressive under President Vladimir Putin, who has violated sovereign borders by annexing Crimea and stoking civil war in Ukraine. A cease-fire in Ukraine was declared last year, but Russian forces still maintain a presence in eastern Ukraine, raising questions about whether Russia might try to extend its reach to the Baltic States." (Editorial, "The Pentagon's Top Threat? Russia," The New York Times, 2/3/16)

The New York Times Editorial: "The Pentagon Has Put Russia At The Top Of Its List Of National Security Threats…" "The Pentagon has put Russia at the top of its list of national security threats with its plan to increase the deployment of heavy weapons, armored vehicles and troops on rotating assignment to NATO countries in Central and Eastern Europe." (Editorial, "The Pentagon's Top Threat? Russia," The New York Times, 2/3/16)

  • The New York Times Editorial Headline: "The Pentagon's Top Threat? Russia" (Editorial, "The Pentagon's Top Threat? Russia," The New York Times, 2/3/16)

As Intelligence Officials Confirm The Use Of Chemical Weapons By ISIS And Their Intentions To Attack The U.S. In The Next Year, Obama Has "Underestimated" The Threat All Along

CIA Director John Brennan Confirmed ISIS Has Used Chemical Weapons. CIA DIRECTOR JOHN BRENNAN: "We have a number of instances where ISIL has used chemical munitions on the battlefield." QUESTION: "Artillery shells?" BRENNAN: "Sure, yeah." QUESTION: "ISIS has access to chemical artillery shells?" BRENNAN: "There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors ammunitions that they can use." (CBS's "60 Minutes," 2/11/16)

Top Intelligence Officials Say ISIS Will Likely Attempt Attacks On The U.S. Homeland In The Next Year. "Top U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that ISIS was likely to attempt direct attacks on the U.S. in the coming year and that the group was infiltrating refugees escaping from Iraq and Syria to move across borders. ISIS 'will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016,' Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday." (Ryan Browne, "Top Intelligence Official: ISIS To Attempt U.S. Attacks This Year," CNN, 2/9/16)

Former Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates: Obama And His Advisors "Have Underestimated ISIS All Along." FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: "So I think this is a very long term problem. I think that the President and his advisors have underestimated ISIS all along." (Yahoo News Interview With Robert Gates, 1/19/16)

  • In An Interview Airing The Day After The Attack In San Bernardino, Obama Said A Paris-Style Attack Could Not Happen In The U.S. "President Barack Obama said in an interview that aired Thursday that he is confident the U.S. is safe from a Paris-style attack from ISIS and that American law enforcement is well equipped to protect the nation during the holidays. 'ISIL will not pose an existential threat to us. They are a dangerous organization like al Qaeda was, but we have hardened our defenses,' Obama told CBS. 'The American people should feel confident that, you know, we are going to be able to defend ourselves and make sure that, you know, we have a good holiday and go about our lives.'" (Tom Lobianco, "Obama: U.S. Safe Against ISIS Attack," CNN, 12/4/15)
  • In An Interview Airing The Day Of The Paris Attacks, Obama Downplayed The ISIS Threat, Saying He Doesn't Believe They Are Getting Stronger And That They Are "Contained ." ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "But ISIS is gaining strength, aren't they?" OBAMA: "Well, I don't think they're gaining strength. What is true is that from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq and in Syria, they'll come in, they'll leave. But you don't see the systematic march by ISIL across the terrain." (ABC's " Good Morning America," 11/13/15)

Iran's Aggression On The World Stage "Has Worsened" Following The Iran Nuclear Deal

The Wall Street Journal Editorial: "Iran's Role In Destabilizing The Middle East Has Worsened Since Signing The Nuclear Deal." (Editorial, "Iran's Congressional Veto," The Wall Street Journal, 1/4/16)

  • The Obama Administration Reached A Settlement Deal That Gave Iran $1.7 Billion U.S. Funds Just As Five Americans Were Freed From Iran, Raising The Question Of Ransom. "A deal that sent $1.7 billion in U.S. funds to Iran, announced alongside the freeing of five Americans from Iranian jails, has emerged as a new flashpoint amid a claim in Tehran that the transaction amounted to a ransom payment. The U.S. Treasury Department wired the money to Iran around the same time its theocratic government allowed three American prisoners to fly out of Tehran on Sunday aboard a Dassault Falcon jet owned by the Swiss air force." (Jay Solomon, "U.S. Payment Of $1.7 Billion To Iran Raises Questions Of Ransom," The Wall Street Journal, 1/21/16)
  • After The Release Of The 10 American Sailors From Iranian Custody, The Obama Administration "The Obama Administration Has Been Eager To Claim A Diplomatic Victory." "After the return of 10 U.S. sailors from Iranian custody Wednesday morning, the Obama administration has been eager to claim a diplomatic victory. What looked like the beginning of a hostage crisis on Tuesday night, unfolding as the president gave his last State of the Union address, was instead resolved by Wednesday morning." (Eli Lake, "Kerry Thanks Iran For Resolving The Crisis It Created," Bloomberg View, 1/14/16)

Secretary Of State John Kerry Conceded That Funds From Iran Sanctions Relief Are Expected To End Up In The Hands Of Terrorists. CNBC'S ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: "Okay, so even if it's the least worst outcome, just to put a fine point on it, do you believe that any of that $55 billion ends up in the hands of terrorists?" KERRY: "I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists. You know, to some degree, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that could be prevented, but I can tell you this, right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time. I'm sure at some point some of it will. But that has never made the difference of what is happening there. Let me give you an example. The Saudis alone spend $80 billion a year on defense. The entire gulf state community spends $130 billion a year on defense. Iran spends $15 billion a year on its military activities. So, it's so incredibly disproportionate that I believe that working with our gulf state partners, which we are going to do and which we are upgrading, we have the ability to guarantee that they will be secure, that we will stand by them even as we look for this potential of a shift in behavior. (CNBC's " Squawk Box," 1/21/16)

  • The Associated Press Headline: "Kerry: Some Iran Sanctions Relief Likely To Go To Terrorists" (Matthew Lee, "Kerry: Some Iran Sanctions Relief Likely To Go To Terrorists," The Associated Press , 1/21/16)

DESPITE THE REALITY MOST AMERICANS FACE UNDER THE CLINTON-OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND HER OWN REFUSAL TO CALL HIM "GREAT," CLINTON GIVES THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY AN "A" GRADE

In An Interview With The Boston Globe, Clinton Gave The Obama Administration An "A" For Its Overall Performance. CLINTON: "I'd give him an 'A.' I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for saving our economy from falling into a great depression, for saving the auto industry which represents millions of jobs up and down the supply chain, for beginning the crackdown on Wall Street abuses with Dodd-Frank, for getting the Affordable Care Act passed, for really being as responsive as he could possibly be given the obstructionism that he faced with the Republicans in Congress." (Hillary Clinton Interview With The Boston Globe, 10/17/15)

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